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Hearing in Forestville triple slaying pushed back

  • Francis Dwyer, left, appears in Sonoma County Superior Court with his lawyer Walter Rubenstein after being extradited from New Mexico on Friday, May 24, 2013. (Conner Jay/The Press Democrat)

The public will have to wait another 2? months before hearing the evidence against three men accused of a triple homicide near Forestville.

A judge Thursday granted a defense motion to postpone a scheduled Aug. 13 preliminary hearing until Oct. 1 to give attorneys for one of the men more time to collect and review police reports.

But the delay didn't come without reservations from Judge Robert LaForge, who cleared his calendar for the estimated daylong hearing. He told both sides to give more notice before requesting future continuances.

"I certainly was ready to do this on the 13th," LaForge said in open court.

Colorado residents Mark Cappello, 46, and Odin Dwyer, 38, and Dwyer's father Francis Dwyer, 65, of New Mexico are charged with murder in the Feb. 5 slayings at a rural cabin on Ross Station Road.

Prosecutors said the killings happened during a marijuana deal involving the victims — Todd Klarkowski, 42, of Boulder, Colo.; Richard Lewin, 46, of Huntington, N.Y.; and former Sebastopol resident Raleigh Butler, 24.

The defendants fled but were all captured out of state and brought to Sonoma County for prosecution. Only Cappello — the suspected shooter — is charged with special circumstances that could bring the death penalty if he is convicted.

In court Thursday, he sat apart from his two co-defendants, who chatted amiably before the judge took the bench.

The judge asked prosecutor Traci Carrillo Thursday if her office had decided whether it will seek capital punishment, which is reserved for the worst crimes. Carrillo told the judge that decision is "still under discussion."

An announcement about that could come after the preliminary hearing, she said.


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